Cullerton ManarGLENDALE HEIGHTS—State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) hosted a legislative forum with area educators, school financial personnel and Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) the sponsor of a hotly debated school funding reform proposal.

The Wednesday meeting gave DuPage County school officials an opportunity to discuss changes to Manar’s need-based funding reform package, Senate Bill 1, that has been updated since it first surfaced last year.

“My top priority is that suburban voices are heard in this debate. This was a good opportunity for an open, productive conversation and the changes Senator Manar made from last year were based on this type of input from DuPage taxpayers, teachers and parents,” Cullerton said.

Cullerton opposed last year’s proposal but hosted the forum to see how Manar’s changes will impact DuPage County.

“It can seem like there are vast differences between suburban, downstate and Chicago schools, but whenever we meet it’s obvious we share the same concerns and face the same challenges. The entire state benefits when every student has the same opportunities for success,” Manar said.

The changes from last year’s proposal, SB 16, include measures to account for higher suburban workforce costs, a more accurate way of measuring poverty, improved funding for bilingual students and additional funding to districts with higher-than-average rates of students with special education needs.

The updated proposal also speeds up a study to determine the base level of funding needed for student growth, and it protects low-spending districts from losses.

“I appreciate any opportunity to discuss the need to update how we fund our schools. I’m grateful that Senator Cullerton hosted this discussion,” Manar said.

Category: Press Releases